Elaine di Falco on Hugh Hopper

Elaine di Falco writes on her times with Hugh Hopper.

I had known for a long time that though Hugh might not have been a frequently active part of my life, the parts of my life that did involve him meant a great deal to me. Some of the following details are a little foggy; others are vivid. It’s been years, but this is the story of how he touched my life.

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Hugh Hopper

I haven’t confirmed this yet, but the word is out that bassist Hugh Hopper, most known for his stint with Soft Machine, passed away yesterday. I’ll update this post once the news is properly sourced.

The message boards have been buzzing with the news of Hugh’s passing, and his Wikipedia entry has been updated to mark his death. Sad news.

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Moon June Records to Release Archival Soft Machine

6 Soft Machine CDs (2)
Image by svennevenn via Flickr

From Moon June Records:

This CD documents an often overlooked phase in the long and complex history of Soft Machine – Australian drummer Phil Howard‘s five-month interim behind the drum stool between Robert Wyatt‘s departure and his eventual long-term replacement John Marshall. It did last long enough to record half of the studio album “Fifth” (1972) and a couple of BBC radio sessions, but until now no official document of that line-up in its preferred environment – the stage. Howard was brought into Soft Machine by saxophonist Elton Dean, both being members of Elton’s side project Just Us, and under their combined influence the band became freer and wilder than ever before (or after) in its existence, pushing longtime leaders Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper into unchartered areas of electric madness. Before long they’d decided this wasn’t the way to go, but meanwhile the line-up had antagonised audiences throughout extensive tours of the UK and Europe. This CD documents the German leg of the tour and, as veteran music journalist Steve Lake notes in his detailed liner notes, is a revelation – a glimpse of a highly exciting alternative route Soft Machine decided not to explore further.

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